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Dariel Fitzkee

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Dariel Fitzkee

Cover of Genii (1950)
BornDariel Comp Fitzkee
May 13, 1898
Annawan, Illinois
DiedApril 06, 1977 (age 78)
CategoriesBooks by Dariel Fitzkee

Dariel Fitzkee (b.1898-d.1977) was the pen name of Dariel Fitzroy. An acoustical engineer by profession, he was a semi-professional magician/author. His trilogy (Showmanship for Magicians, The Trick Brain and Magic by Misdirection), also known as The Fitzkee Trilogy, is considered by many to be an important contribution to the theory of magic.


Dariel Fitzkee was born Dariel Comp Fitzkee May 13 1898 in Annawan, Illinois. He legally changed his name to "Fitzroy" during WW-2. He continued to use "Fitzkee" on his magical publications, however save for copyright notice. Starting in 1937, Fitzkee began a column in Genii called "Thoughts are Things" and then in October, 1938 once called "Glimpses of Strange Shadows" which was to run almost two years. Then starting in March, 1944 Dariel began the monthly column of book and magazine reviews for Genii entitled Paper and Ink which ran for over 12 years.

Fitzkee eventually withdrew from magic and started a career in acoustics and sound engineering. He was made a Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America (its highest honor) even though entirely self taught.

In Steve Martin's memoir, Born Standing Up, comedian and one-time magician describes Fitzkee's Showmanship for Magicians as "more important to me than The Catcher In The Rye," adding that they were, coincidentally, distant relatives by marriage.

It's also been told that Tommy Wonder learned English just so he could read Fitzkee's trilogy.



  1. The Linking Ring, Vol. 88, N. 10, October 2008, Finding Dariel Fitzkee By David Goodsell, page 72
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